Punishment recommended for Goodhue County Judge Blakely
A state judicial investigatory panel recommended Wednesday First District Court Judge Timothy Blakely be sanctioned after concluding the judge used his authority to benefit himself financially.
The three-member fact-finding panel for the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards has asked that Blakely be censured and suspended for six months without pay.
Blakely serves part-time as a judge in Goodhue County Court. He travels and serves as a judge in six other Minnesota counties.
The panel said Blakely referred divorcees to his former divorce lawyer for mediations in exchange for a $60,000 reduction in his own legal fees. The bill for Blakely's legal fees had reached as high as $100,000
The panel's decision isn't the final word on the matter. The issue will go before the full Board on Judicial Standards on April 3, when the board may accept, reject or modify the panel's recommendations. The board's decision will then go to the Minnesota Supreme Court for a final determination.
Blakely will continue to sit on the bench in the meantime.
The panel made its ruling four months after it heard testimony on the matter.
A call made to Blakely's office in the Goodhue County Courthouse was not returned.
The three-member panel consisted of retired Supreme Court Justice Edward C. Stringer, retired District Court Judge Allen Oleisky and Lawrence Redmond.